Have you heard of xylitol? A naturally occurring sugar that is then processed–typically from birch trees and corn cobs–xylitol has gained popularity as a sugar substitute and potential dental hygiene game changer. If you’re grasping to understand how anything sweet can improve your oral health and shocked that our staff is talking about it, we’re here to give you the facts you need to know…
Most people don’t realize that cavities are the result of the particular oral bacteria that live in your mouth. When this particular bacteria feeds on the sugar you eat, acidic by-products contribute to tooth enamel erosion, plaque production, gum disease, cavities, and eventual tooth loss. So how does a sugar such as xylitol prevent cavities?
- Xylitol is indigestible to bacteria, which reduces the number of bacteria and decreases the occurrence of cavities.
- Xylitol makes pH less acidic, creating an alkaline oral environment, which limits the growth of bacteria.
- Xylitol induces a higher rate of saliva and higher calcium levels in saliva, which contributes to the protection of enamel.
You can find xylitol in products such as gum, mints, and candies, and it is also processed into a granular form that can be used to replace refined sugar. While is it contains 40% fewer calories that sugar, it is not completely sugar-free and can sometimes cause gastrointestinal issues.
Caring for your family’s oral health involves educating yourself on trending topics, prioritizing regular visits to your dentist, promoting a healthy diet, and maintaining a routine of brushing and flossing. What we can say with certainty is that your dentist and hygiene team are always here to help!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical care. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.